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Suture Augmentation Does Not Change Biomechanical Properties and Histological Remodeling of Tendon Graft in Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction: A Study in a Porcine Model

Published:January 09, 2023DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.arthro.2022.10.049

      Abstract

      Purpose

      To evaluate the initial safety of the combined use of ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) sutures for suture augmentation (SA) in a porcine ACL reconstruction model and examine whether the procedure can affect the anterior knee laxity and structural properties of the tendon graft itself, influence histological remodeling, and cause a foreign body-induced inflammation.

      Methods

      Ten pigs were divided into SA and non-SA groups to undergo ACL reconstruction using an autologous semitendinosus tendon with and without SA, respectively. At 12 weeks postoperatively, the tibial fixation of the grafted tendon and SA was removed, and the anterior knee laxity and structural characteristics of the grafted tendon were evaluated for mechanical testing. Histological evaluation, including the ligament tissue maturation index (LTMI) score and the presence or absence of foreign-body reaction, was evaluated.

      Results

      There was no significant difference in anterior laxity between the two groups (SA group, 1.19 ± 0.78 mm; non-SA group, 1.08 ± 0.42 mm, P = 1). There were no significant differences in maximum load failure, yield strength, stiffness, elongation at failure, and the LTMI score between the two groups (P = 0.31, 1, 1, 1, and 0.24 respectively). All grafted tendons showed no foreign-body reactions.

      Conclusion

      Suture augmentation did not have significant effect on the anterior knee laxity and the structural properties of the grafted tendon, interfere with histological remodeling, or cause foreign body-induced reactions.

      Clinical Relevance

      The results of our study may lay the foundation for further clinical studies to verify the usefulness of ACL reconstruction with SA.
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